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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Mon, Jul-09-2018, 08:00:25 PM   #1
inferno493
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Default Converting side strakes to real vents

Does anyone know if there is information floating around out there about how you might go about opening up the side vents to the engine bay? I have a supercharger which causes overheat issues on hot days / high altitudes and I don't really want to go the vented hood route. The left side vent looks like it would be difficult but the right side seems open enough to run some ducting from the vent, through the corner chamber and right into the heart of the engine bay. It seems like there's not really anyplace for incoming air to leave and that opening those vents could really reduce air temps in there.
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Old Mon, Jul-09-2018, 08:13:43 PM   #2
///M3 MD
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Default Re: Converting side strakes to real vents

From what I recall the ducts were originally designed to be functional but didnít result in any measurable increase in airflow. That being said, this was with the stock motor and temps, not sure if anyone has revisited this. Maybe some of the more seasoned pros can chime in?


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Old Mon, Jul-09-2018, 08:39:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: Converting side strakes to real vents

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Originally Posted by ///M3 MD View Post
From what I recall the ducts were originally designed to be functional but didn’t result in any measurable increase in airflow. That being said, this was with the stock motor and temps, not sure if anyone has revisited this. Maybe some of the more seasoned pros can chime in?


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They were originally intended to be functional, but were not needed. Corporate liked the look so they were left in place as visual design cues.

Would take some crafty fab work to make them functional vents; just not sure if there is a low pressure zone there to extract the heat since there is nothing is ducted around the SC..
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Old Mon, Jul-09-2018, 11:23:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: Converting side strakes to real vents

What I figure is that if the car is moving the increase in velocity over the vent will create a decrease in pressure in relation to the engine bay, especially considering the pressure created by air flowing through the grill, radiator and intercooler while in motion. That should allow greater airflow and increased effectiveness of the cooling system while retaining a stock exterior.
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Old Tue, Jul-10-2018, 10:55:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: Converting side strakes to real vents

i've thought about this also. given the location of the vents is not conducive to extracting engine bay air (the 2 compartments are in the way of that), the best use for the side vents would be to extract air in the wheel arch area. that is comparatively easy to fab (a pair of 3d printed guides would do the trick).
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Old Wed, Jul-11-2018, 12:45:38 AM   #6
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Default Re: Converting side strakes to real vents

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i've thought about this also. given the location of the vents is not conducive to extracting engine bay air (the 2 compartments are in the way of that), the best use for the side vents would be to extract air in the wheel arch area. that is comparatively easy to fab (a pair of 3d printed guides would do the trick).
Other than a vented hood, what are some effective ways to get rid of the heat?
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Old Wed, Jul-11-2018, 03:19:19 AM   #7
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Default Re: Converting side strakes to real vents

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Other than a vented hood, what are some effective ways to get rid of the heat?
Remove the cabin air filter housing on track days??
Unless its overheating in general.
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Old Wed, Jul-11-2018, 03:58:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: Converting side strakes to real vents

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Remove the cabin air filter housing on track days??
Unless its overheating in general.
wouldnt think that would work. that is an intake - its in a high pressure area
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Old Thu, Jul-12-2018, 03:52:02 AM   #9
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Default Re: Converting side strakes to real vents

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i've thought about this also. given the location of the vents is not conducive to extracting engine bay air (the 2 compartments are in the way of that), the best use for the side vents would be to extract air in the wheel arch area. that is comparatively easy to fab (a pair of 3d printed guides would do the trick).
That's not a bad idea. Especially for a guys like me with the SGT CSL bumper. I don't track the M3 but for those that do, the wheel arch to vent idea is not bad!
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Old Sun, Aug-26-2018, 07:51:56 AM   #10
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Default Re: Converting side strakes to real vents

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Other than a vented hood, what are some effective ways to get rid of the heat?
Overheating because of a parasitic supercharger is a very common problem on our cars. Forget about a vented hood and go for a better radiator and a more efficient water pump. There are lots of options. The most expensive but the best options are found on this website.
http://www.zionsvilleautosport.com/

I wouldn't worry about getting a bigger oil cooler especially if you get one of their radiators. I suggest going whole-hog and getting their radiator and Reservoir combo.
Our plastic reservoirs are known to fail. You will probably never have to replace their radiators, reservoir, or electric fan for the the life of the car.

While you have everything apart considered buying and installing a uZionsville water pump which is actually much cheaper than the BMW version. It is supposed to move considerably more water then the water pump that you have right now.
Companies that sell us Superchargers don't mention you got to spend another couple grand in cooling modifications.

You can spend less but I think you'll get less. Go for the Zionsville. Go for the best.

For the best do-it-yourself print out the DIY for the cooling system refurbishing at the thebuildjournal.Com

Print it in color. It comes out to about 32 Pages as I recall. One of the best do-it-yourself instructions I've ever seen for our cars.

but a DIY shows you everything except the actual removal of the radiator. I figured out how to do that just by looking at it. Without disconnecting anything drop the oil cooler which is attached to the bottom of the radiator then remove the radiator hoses which are quick release. Then it's just a matter of a few screws in the whole radiator will come right out. It was a much easier job than I thought.

Most of the time is spent taking the darn intake system off. And once the intake system is out of the way your whole cooling system and serpentine belt system is just right there in front of you.

The special wrench set that you need to remove the fan and fan clutch cost $17 on eBay. It works perfectly. That's where I bought mine.
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Discussing Converting side strakes to real vents in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)